March 15th, 2018
SUPERiority in Male Superheroes
The Avengers movie was intended to capture a mix of action, battle between good and evil, and even a little suspense. The main focus of many superhero movies is the battle between the superhero and the villain. The fight usually occurs because of a scheme created by the villain to take over the world or dominate the people in some sense. Viewers appreciated The Avengers movie for its simplicity of plot development. This is something that all ages of viewers can relate to because no matter the age, people are watching for pure entertainment and that is what The Avengers movie brings. However, what many viewers do not notice is the underlying issue of gender roles and how they were portrayed in throughout the movie. Throughout the entire movie, female characters, such as The Black Widow and Pepper, are viewed as “assets” or secondary to males, instead of strong, independent, and brave women that can fight their battles without the help of males.
Let’s start from the beginning. The Avengers team consists of The Black Widow, Ironman, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, and for a short time, Hawkeye. The movie lays out the foundations by introducing each character one by one. We are immediately introduced to the villain, Loki. The movie opens in the S.H.I.E.L.D. lab with scientists and government agents working to develop or contain a source of power called the Tesseract. All of the sudden, things go awry and Loki steps on stage. It is obvious that he is the villain because as soon as he arrives, he starts annihilating everyone in his path with no hesitation. That is, until he comes in contact with Hawkeye and scientist, Selvig. Loki has an ulterior motive that includes Hawkeye and Selvig on his team. Not only does he steal the Tesseract, but he compromises Hawkeye and Selvig (The Avengers). It is clear in the way that he carries himself, Loki is on a mission. Upon analyzing this opening scene, I realized that villain, Loki is a man and the two people he steals to work with him are also men. This is both the beginning of the movie and the beginning of gender role stereotypes portrayal.
Next, we are introduced to Natasha Romanoff, also known as The Black Widow. She is the only woman with a strong role throughout the entire movie, although she is portrayed as strong, she is still shown leaning on men in times of need. She is first introduced in a setting where she looks vulnerable; she is tied up in a chair being slapped and her image being torn apart by her captor. At one point he says, “The famous Black Widow, and she turns out to be simply another pretty face.” Which she then responds with, “You really think I’m pretty?” (The Avengers). It is not until she gets a phone call that the audience realizes her superpower, manipulation. Agent Coulson is on the phone trying to convince her that he needs her help. It is not until he mentions...